Enfield Caribbean Association (ECA) is organising several events during Windrush week to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the ship arrival at Tilbury Docks in 1948.
The week commemorations kick off on Windrush Day on Thursday 22 June with the launch of Windrush Wonders, ECA's illustrated children's book about three members of the Windrush Generation at Millfield Theatre from 6pm to 9pm. The evening will include a reading from the book by its author Kamilah McInnis, complemented with poetry by Moina McInnis about the experiences of the Windrush generation. A specially composed monologue by actress Sharron Pillay, will also be performed at the event. Pillay will transform herself to become one of the characters from the book, Windrush Voices - 20 Stories of Determination and Triumph. The event promises to be a wonderful and entertaining way to bring the Windrush generation experiences to life.
On Friday 23 June, at 1pm at Green Towers Centre in Edmonton we will hold a celebratory lunch followed by a performance by Jazanne Arts at 2pm about the life of Cislin Parry who left Jamaica, as an 18-year-old in 1959 to become a nurse. However, she left the profession and eventually founded Aquarius, one of the UK’s first black hair salons.
On Sunday 25 June at 3pm ECA’s Windrush Voices film documentary will be screened at the Dugdale Art Centre, as part of Enfield Council's celebration of Windrush. The film is a testament to the ‘back stories’ of the Windrush Generation. Men, women and children who tell their stories about living somewhere warm and lush, full of vibrant colours and aromas, among the love of extended families of parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles.
Then travelling, many for the first time by air or sea, to arrive to the drabness of a grey, monotoned war scared London. Where rationing had just recently ended. Outside toilets and the use of public baths were the norm. Sprinkle in the hostile racist environment faced by all, "The No Blacks, No Irish, No Dogs" handwritten signs that greeted them.
The film by Colin Johnson documents how these pioneers overcame widespread ignorance, to survive and challenge the everyday prejudices they experienced and make a massive contribution to British society. The 80 minutes film will be followed by roundtable discussion with the Windrush Voices contributors. Tickets are available via DAC's website and box office.
According to Oveta McInnis, ECA's chair, "This year's 75th commemoration of Empire is particularly significant. This landmark is increasingly being taught at schools across the country, and the economic, cultural and social contribution of that generation of Caribbean people acknowledged.
It should also act as a reminder for the current administration to honour its commitment to those members of the Windrush generation who endured the hostile environment of the Home Office. They are still waiting for compensation from the government."
McInnis adds, "ECA is grateful for the grant made available by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, which has enabled us to prepare creative and exciting activities for Windrush week. We are confident these events will entertain and stimulate discussion and further interest among all communities across the borough."
ECA will also be launching an educational lessons pack, designed to absorb the Windrush Voices book, into specific areas of the school curriculum, such as history, PSHE and English literature. ECA has been working closely with teachers at Heron Hall Academy to incorporate the book into lesson plans to be taught to pupils at KS3
Key dates details
Thursday 22 June - 6pm-9pm - Windrush Wonders: Tales of Travel and Triumph, ECA's children's book launch and performance at Millfield Theatre.
An enjoyable evening to commemorate Windrush Day. Pencil in the date and keep an eye out on this page for further details as they unfold.
This is a Free event. Entry by Eventbrite ticket only.
Venue: Millfield Theatre, Silver Street London N18 1PJ
Tickets via Eventbrite - https://rb.gy/9etcw
Friday 23 June 2023 – 1pm
Lunch and performance by of Cislin’s Story by Jazanne Arts and spoken word poetry at Green Towers, Edmonton. 2 course Caribbean meal £10, performance £5.
Lunch £10. To be booked in advance by email firstname.lastname@example.org or 07908 600420.
Performances £5 – can pay on the door or go to our Windrush Day page on our website.
Sunday 25 June 2023 3pm
ECA film documentary Windrush Voices: 20 stories of determination and triumph at Dugdale Arts Centre, Enfield Town. Entrance price for the film screening is £6.
Click here to buy tickets from the Dugdale Arts Centre or call 0208 807 6680.